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The Darwinian Revolution

Semester and Year FA 2010
Course Number IDSEM-UG1156
Section 001
Instructor Gene Cittadino
Days Mon,Wed
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement SCI


Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection may be the single most influential, and controversial, scientific theory ever proposed. This course will examine the origin, nature, and consequences of Darwin’s theory, with an emphasis on interrelationships among the social, cultural, and intellectual dimensions of the scientific enterprise. Topics include the connections between Darwinian theory and social, political, and moral discourse in Victorian Britain; initial and more recent scientific and public controversies; resistance to the theory by conservative Christians; applications and misapplications of the theory, such as Social Darwinism, eugenics, and sociobiology; and the influence of Darwinian thought on literature and the arts. In addition to Darwin’s Origin of Species and excerpts from Voyage of the Beagle and Descent of Man , readings will likely include Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos , selections from Malthus, Spencer, and Huxley, and recent works by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould, among others.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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